‘The Mikado’ gets major update

  • Thu Mar 4th, 2010 2:23pm
  • Life

By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer

The Northwest Savoyards puts a fresh spin on an old Gilbert and Sullivan favorite, melding some modern political references and a talented cast in “The Mikado.”

“Absolutely, you cannot miss this show,” producer Tim Sauke said.

This take on the popular “The Mikado” includes two songs that have been updated with modern political commentary: “I’ve Got a Little List” and “A More Humane Mikado.”

Another highlight of the show is “I Am So Proud,” performed by a trio of power voices of Pooh-Bah, played by Craig Cantley; Ko-Ko, played by Dave Holden; and Pish-Tush, played by William Darkow.

“Just watching it, it’s hilarious,” Sauke said. “It was relevant at the time it was written, and it’s still relevant today.”

Holden has become a Savoyards darling, appearing in several shows, including “Fiddler on the Roof,” playing Tevye.

Darko, a veteran of numerous Gilbert and Sullivan shows, said he has never done a Gilbert and Sullivan show like this one, with no weak links in the cast, Sauke said.

Cantley has performed with Seattle Opera, while Claudette Pachter, who plays Katisha, has sung with numerous operas including Tacoma, Bellevue and Houston.

The singers are backed by a 13-piece orchestra largely comprised of members of the newly formed Everett Philharmonic.

The beautiful sets for “The Mikado” were designed by Everett artist Joy Bezanis, who has done four other shows with the Savoyards, Sauke said.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” — or the “Town of Titipu” — opens with Nanki-Poo, the son of the Emperor of Japan, running away from home so he doesn’t have to marry Katisha.

He goes to the town of Titipu where his true love, Yum-Yum, lives. Unfortunately, she is betrothed to Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner.

So begins a hilarious satire of the British social system — in a traditional Japanese setting — of love, betrayal, executions, broken marriages and mistaken identities.

“The Mikado” opens at 8 tonight at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. The show runs for three weekends through March 21, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $22 and $19. Call 425-258-6766 or go to www.everetttheatre.org.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.